The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the need for greater collaboration to ensure the blue economy becomes the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
Peterside, said this when the President of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), Ghana, Jemilat Mahamah, paid a courtesy visit to NIMASA.
He said: “The blue economy is one critical sector that will create employment for our people, contribute to economic growth, and give opportunities to all our people, whether they be men or women.
“So it is timely and most appropriate that you are focusing on how to get 50 per cent of the continent’s population involved in the blue economy, be it fisheries, fishing, or underwater mining, aquaculture or any of the activities that go on in the blue economy.
“That totally aligns with our vision of making the blue economy play greater role in the economic growth of our country and our continent.”
In line with the global focus on enhancing the role of women in the maritime and shipping sector, Peterside announced the agency’s readiness to support initiatives aimed at getting more African women involved in the industry.
He pledged that NIMASA would sponsor a high-powered delegation to the 6th WISTA Africa Region Conference holding in Accra from April 2nd to 4th.
According to him, the theme of the conference, “The role of women in harnessing the potential of Africa’s blue economy,” coincided with the focus of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) this year, which is, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”
The DG: “Globally, the focus in the maritime industry today is how to get more women involved in the sector, whether as seafarers, ship owners, etc. So every effort to encourage the participation of women in the sector is supported by NIMASA. You can count on our support.”
He added: “It is interesting that this year is dedicated by the IMO to empowering women in the maritime sector, specifically, shipping. Your conference coincides with the thematic thrust of the IMO this year.
“Therefore, it is very easy for us to align with the global agenda of the international maritime community and support your initiative of hosting the continent in Accra.
“You can count on the support of NIMASA and, by extension, Nigeria. We believe and support everything that would give women a role in the maritime sector.
“There is no sector that would exclude 50 per cent of the population and expect that sector to thrive. If we exclude women, we are excluding 50 per cent of our population from benefitting in the economic activities in the maritime sector.”
Peterside, said the focus of the WISTA conference also accorded with current efforts by African leaders to create economic activities in the continent by maximising the benefits of the blue economy.